Thursday, June 9, 2011
Hey, friends, I got bed bugs. Or did the doctor say, "Bad bugs." The name they use around the clinic is "C. Diff" which I think stands for the Spanish ca-ca dificil or in English, a difficult bacteria that is hard to get rid of. It showed up in my colon and I don't know how it got there. As the crude crowd says on its bumper sticker, it just "happens." After three weeks of diarrhea, I got weak and dehydrated enough to go to the emergency room. They pumped bottled water into me, gave me tests, and an antibiotic called flagyl to stop the growth of the unwanted critters. Two days later I returned with Martha for our regular checkups with our primary care physician. We went two hours early to get lab tests for the doctor. I had just sat down in the waiting room when the doctor's nurse came in, whispered something to Martha, and kindly whisked me off to isolation. After several hours there I was beginning to wonder what bad thing I had done to deserve isolation confinement. Finally, the doctor came and discussed the above mentioned issue. I am to keep taking the flagyl and keep everything I touch spotlessly clean. I am to continue on the liquid diet that has been my practice for a week. Keri, our professional food server, fixed me what she proudly called a three-course meal (ginger ale, bouillon, and jello for desert). Already my trips to the bathroom are less frequent. Guess that makes me a distance runner.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
In a TV commercial "Worry, worry, worry, trouble, trouble, trouble" invade a little dog's mind until he can secure his bone. It's the little dog's nightmare and the American dream. Finding bones and investing them in imaginary safe places, keeps many of us awake at night too. The bones themselves, are just as fleeting as the fantasy that we can keep them indefinitely. We go one step further. We let them define us. We take our identity from what we call success and wealth. Jesus did not go there. He said that he came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. The only way we can have life is found in this instant. The question is not how much money have I made, saved or lost (past tense) or how much I dream about having someday if I play my cards right (future). These are all practical questions that are important in order to survive in the world, but as is often said, "To merely survive is not the same as to live." Scarcity thinking (instead of abundance) leads to fear, greed, injustice, violence, and hostility. The biblical emphasis on abundance encourages us to ask for our daily bread and know that will be enough. As Jesus teaches he looks at the birds above him or the wildflowers around him to illustrate the simple life to which he calls us. I chuckle when I see the little worry dog. He reminds me of my favorite possessions that create more problems for me than I need to have. I may not need to, but if I can't let then go in exchange for life, I am in deep trouble. Jesus helps me see that I can bypass all these material frustrations by simply seeking first the spiritual kingdom of God and claim the promise that what I really need will be supplied.